‘Just a Freak Accident': Boston Reacts to Duck Boat Crash on Storrow Drive

Caught on camera moments after striking the Charles Street bridge, the duck boat known as "Miss Emma Science" sits on Boston's Storrow Drive, her canopy peeled off like a can of tuna, her rear stairs pushed backward awkwardly.

No one was injured, but the 20 passengers on board had to have help from the fire department just to get off the duck boat.

"I think it was just a freak accident," said Maggie Shanahan, who was about to ride on a duck boat.

"Accidents are going to happen, especially when you have a five-ton vehicle, which wasn't really built for this kind of traffic," said passenger Charles James.

Some Bostonians were pretty critical of the driver for taking the 12-foot amphibious vehicle down the notoriously low-clearance roadway.

"If you see that coming, you're not going to go down Storrow Drive with a duck boat," said Aram Antranigian of South Boston.

"Are they properly trained?" asked Jason Bramwell of Watertown. "They should know that, where or where not to drive in Boston where they're giving a tour."

Boston Duck Tours said this was a first-year driver who started in March. The company said drivers are trained to avoid Storrow Drive, but this driver was diverted onto Storrow by state police.

"Duck Boats do not typically travel on Storrow Drive and the driver’s actions, although not intentional, will be under review by company safety experts who will conduct a thorough analysis of this event," the company said.

"It's a little scary, but I heard the guy was a new driver. It happens, he probably just didn't know," said Molly Shanahan of Peabody. "I can't even drive around Boston and I've lived here my whole life, so it happens, I guess."

And it wasn't discouraging tourists from hopping on the duck boats Monday.

"I'm not concerned," said Coralie Jesen, who is visiting from Sydney, Australia.

"I've come to Boston once in my life," said Steve Robilliard, also visiting from Sydney. "I'm not going to not go on the Duck Tour."

Massachusetts State Police said they were the ones who diverted the duck boat off Beacon Street because of the Governor's Conference. Still, the department confirms it cited the driver for being on Storrow Drive.

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